While the Utah Jazz have been up-and-down coming out of the All-Star break (2-1), big man Rudy Gobert has been putting in work.
The two-time Defensive Player of the Year turned in a monstrous performance down the stretch against the Boston Celtics on the road, leading the Jazz to a 117-109 win.
He finished with 16 points on 5-of-6 shooting, 12 rebounds and four blocks on the night, scoring 11 of those points in the final frame, while turning in a stifling performance on the defensive end.
He was a plus-16 plus/minus in the fourth quarter alone, going a perfect 5-of-5 at the free-throw line.
“His activity, his ability to do multiple things defensively, make multiple-effort plays – when we’re solid, he has a chance to be even more impactful,” head coach Quin Snyder said of Gobert’s impact.
Rudy Gobert has 112 blocks this season, 10 fewer than league leader Myles Turner.
However, he has committed 35 fewer fouls than Myles Turner.
He is the only player with more blocks than fouls this season (min 70 blocks). pic.twitter.com/lSrsCbeHdo
– StatMuse (@statmuse) March 17, 2021
The small-ball Celtics had no answer for Gobert, forcing them into jump shot after jump shot, with his presence in the paint. Even with Robert Williams in the game, the Celtics couldn’t get past Gobert.
Midway through the fourth quarter, he put his two-way ability on full display, swatting Jaylen Brown’s shot at one end, before hammering home the alley-oop at the other in a matter of seconds.
when you think you got this but you do not, in fact, got this pic.twitter.com/LuNjZGrgqF
– utahjazz (@utahjazz) March 17, 2021
“I think I just tried to lock in and do all the things this team needs to win,” Gobert said. “We did a good job defending in the fourth and we did a good job at the end of executing.”
In their previous game, a 131-119 road loss to the Golden State Warriors, Gobert turned in a record-setting performance, with 24 points, four blocks and career-high and franchise-record 28 rebounds!
| @rudygobert27
24p | 28r | 4b | 2s | 1a | 80% fg pic.twitter.com/iJnjUbkAYC
– utahjazz (@utahjazz) March 14, 2021
Coming out of the All-Star break, Gobert is averaging 18 points, 14 rebounds and a whopping 4.7 blocks per game on a ridiculous 72 percent from the field.
While Ben Simmons has gained significant ground in the Defensive Player of the Year race, Gobert has been putting the league on notice in the past week.
The Jazz still own the league’s best record at 29-10 on the season as they look to break out of their mini-slump, going 5-5 in their past 10 games.
Their five-game road trip continues on Thursday when they take on the Wizards in D.C., before games against the Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls, ahead of their marquee matchup at home against the Brooklyn Nets next week.
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